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The New Year is upon us and all around us we see people pledging to diet and stick to a strict exercise regimen. They have joined expensive weight loss clinics and gyms and are focused on their health and fitness, but what about another vitally important aspect of their lives? How many of you have committed to getting your finances in order this year? It is equally important to do as a component of your overall health and well-being. Financial stress can destroy your self esteem, raise your stress levels and is sighted as the number one cause of marital discord.

So many people are unable to address their financial concerns due to fear, lack of skills or unwillingness to change a lifestyle they have grown accustomed to. People who fear addressing their financial woes have a pretty good sense that they aren’t in very good shape financially, but want to put off knowing the full extent of the issue. Ignorance is bliss, but in the case of your money concerns, it can only last for so long. At some point, the house of cards will fall, and you will be faced with a more complex and difficult problem to try to resolve.

Not understanding the extent of your financial problems and having no idea how to rectify them is the reason many will avoid meeting the issues head on. You may know you’re in trouble, but really don’t get how it happened or what to do about it. You continue to tentatively use credit, saying a silent prayer to the Gods that it won’t be declined by the merchant, an experience a great feeling of relief when the transaction goes through. Sadly, the day will come when all your plastic will be declined and you won’t know why or what to do about it.

Some people live their lives with an attitude that they deserve whatever they desire, and if credit is how they get it, so be it. They have a sense of entitlement that likely developed at an early age and only got worse over time. These people spend a lot of time justifying what they are doing financially. It isn’t uncommon to hear “I deserve this, I work hard” or “if all my friends have a snow machine, I am entitled to one too”. It is difficult to point out to someone with this attitude that they shouldn’t spend more than they can afford as they feel it is their right to have anything they set their sights on. Again, this lifestyle isn’t sustainable over the long term, and chaos will reign when it’s time to pay for your purchases.

Luckily, there are solutions available to all types of consumers in trouble with their finances. The first step, no matter which category of spender you fall into, is to get a realistic look at what you actually spend vs. what you make. Credit Counselling Sudbury has tools available to help you track your spending in order to begin understanding where your money is going. These tools are available free of charge and can be accessed by dropping by the office at 1166 Roy Avenue, or by calling 705-560-0430. You can also make an appointment for a free individualized assessment to start you on the path to financial health.

The New Year is a great time to develop new habits to improve your life. Financial fitness is something you will never regret achieving. It’s easier that you think, and you aren’t alone in your journey.